Corporations lend a hand & make a difference

From global giants to local mom-and-pop shops, businesses have rallied around the healthcare industry to support the ones working hard and making sacrifices to care for patients and communities during this extraordinary time. Here are just a few of those stories.

Ford pivots to create face shields, gowns & ventilators

Ford Motor Company has a strong reputation for world-class corporate social responsibility. The Detroit-based automaker nimbly used its vast manufacturing resources to produce critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and ventilators for patients, among other efforts.

Ford worked with Beaumont Health in Detroit to design and produce urgently needed reusable medical gowns for healthcare workers. The gowns, made from the material used in Ford vehicle airbags, can be washed up to 50 times.

According to Ford’s media releases, in collaboration with healthcare companies and government agencies, by May, Ford had helped produce more than 8 million face shields; 100,000 respirators; about 1 million face masks per day; and 100,000 isolation gowns per week. It was projecting to make 50,000 ventilators and 1.3 million gowns by July. Ford is helping commercial healthcare companies increase production of their PPE and medical devices as well.

HealthTrust reached out to Ford upon hearing of its plans and provided contact information for its member hospitals in the areas identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Ed Jones
Ed Jones

“This is a great example of American ingenuity that was prompted out of compassion for first responders, caregivers and patients,” says Ed Jones, President and CEO of HealthTrust. “We are grateful to Ford and appreciate the collaboration to ensure our members are among the first to receive this generous help at a time of critical need.”

“At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need,” says Ken Musgrave, Global Director, D-Ford at Ford Motor Company. “Within two weeks, we went from prototyping to producing 1 million face shields. We acted fast and with conviction, and the response from people across the country that are receiving this lifesaving equipment is incredibly humbling.”

Innovation that’s out of this world

If NASA can put a man on the moon, just imagine what the space giant can do for the healthcare industry. The organization joined with a task force in California to help construct medical devices for patients with COVID-19.

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center partnered with Antelope Valley Hospital, the City of Lancaster and other organizations to come up with new solutions for medical equipment shortages, according to

Some of the dozens of engineers involved in creating a ventilator prototype specially targeted to coronavirus disease patients at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The task force is working with Antelope Valley Hospital to provide alternative solutions to equipment that is not available for a large-scale emergency. One of the first wins was the creation of a new oxygen hood for doctors, which was quickly put into production.

“NASA is more than scientists, engineers and explorers. We are neighbors and members of communities across the country,” says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, according to the organization’s website. “In a time like this, it’s critical that we contribute the vast expertise of our workforce to do all we can to help our neighbors, our communities and the nation.”

The oxygen hood is just one of many examples of ingenuity that have come out of NASA during the pandemic. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed a new high-pressure ventilator called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) that is tailored to treat coronavirus patients. The ventilator was invented to free up traditional ventilators for the most-severe COVID-19 patients. The prototype was quickly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use.

It may not be rocket science, but NASA’s special brand of innovation couldn’t come to healthcare at a better time, as lifesaving medical equipment and supplies have been in critical demand.

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